The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has been using the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrids for the past year. The vehicles have allowed them to reduce fuel costs and protect the environment while patrolling their 72 miles of coastline.
The environmentally friendly, four-wheel drive SUVs have played a very important role in several rescue missions. In October 2008, the lifeguards used the vehicles to rescue passengers involved in a single engine plane crash. And in January 2009, they used an Escape Hybrid to tow a wave runner into position to rescue a kayaker who had capsized.
Even though the lifeguards have been driving more often this year due to a 20 percent rise in beach attendance, they’ve reduced fuel cost by 25 percent. This reduced cost has helped them maintain a necessary high level of staffing, despite the troubled economy.
In addition to fuel savings, the lifeguards reduced emissions by 97,500 lbs. of CO2 during the first six months. The Escape Hybrid is one of the cleanest vehicles available today.
Receiving five-star government ratings in all crash tests, the vehicle won the “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, and was named one of Kelley Blue Book’s “2009 Best New Family Vehicles.” It will also be the only compact SUV to offer standard AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control) and a standard Safety Canopy® side curtain air-bag system.
The 2010 Escape arrived in showrooms earlier this summer, and builds upon the already-established excellence with five new added features. The new MyKey™ safety technology and Integrated Spotter Mirrors both come standard. Optional features include the Rear View Camera System and SYNC®. It’s also be North America’s first SUV to offer Active Park Assist, which steers the vehicle appropriately for parallel parking.